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The Bears for Lunch

November 13, 2012 | Format: MP3

$9.49
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2:14
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3:02
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1:09
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2:57
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1:10
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1:50
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1:48
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3:13
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2:06
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2:15
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3:42
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2:44
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2:46
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2:13
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2:12
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0:34
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1:59
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1:54
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3:05
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Format: Audio CD
If anyone who isn't by now cool enough to have heard or heard of GBV (oh, yeah, btw, even the Obama Administration acknowledges their greatness, as Jay Carney so hippishly leaked-out!) needs to be provided with some kind of smoothly accessible access-point to join in on the debate on why this band is the best, most versatile rock band on the planet, just direct them to tracks 4 ("Hangover Child") and 14 ("Waking Up the Stars") on their appropriately consistent 3rd album of 2012 "The Bears For Lunch". One is boisterous, chant-along, defiant, hard-charging rock led by drummer Kevin Fennell's unforgettable frontbeat and ringleader Robert Pollard's resolve to 'not back down'. The other is guitarist/co-songwriter Tobin Sprout's latest quest for the perfect immaculate lost folk-tinged pop-song, pealed away of pretentiousness and precociousness: the sort of song Paul Simon or The Shins only wish they could write. But whereas to find these two seemingly opposite (but perfect) tracks on the same album would be a near miracle for any other artist, for GBV its just another testament to an ongoing, ever expanding love affair with their own musical collaboration. Yet, I as all GBV fans know that to find their true genius, sometimes you have to wade through the occasional muck (muck as in Pollard, a pint of Cuervo, an out-of-tune guitar and five minutes with one take to knock-off a song muck), muck that sometimes might seem too hodge-podge, too throwaway, too experimental, but muck that also sometimes may embrace you in the end. Although it has less muck than their last album ("Class Clown Spots a UFO", which came out as far back as 4 months ago (!Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
With the release of The Bears For Lunch, Guided By Voices 3rd LP in 2012, some critics are saying Bob should have consolidated his efforts and made only one "Best of" GBV album this year.

For the sake of science and against my opinion that the above criticism is bologna, I will reluctantly make a 21 track song list (21 songs being the average length) from Bob's 2012 Guided By Voices releases. The songs are in no particular sequence, just as you would likely get in an arbitrary best of compilation. I've simply typed them down as I thought of them.

1. White Flag
2. Chocolate Boy
3. The Head
4. Spiderfighter
5. She Lives in an Airport
6. The Challenge is Much More
7. Imperial Racehorsing
8. Breathing (B Side)
9. Class Clown Spots a UFO
10. Hang Up and Try Again
11. Chain to the Moon
12. Waving at Airplanes
13. Waking up the Stars
14. Everywhere is Miles from Everywhere
15. Waves
16. Tyson's Highschool
17. Hang Over Child
18. Laundry & Lasers
19. How I Met My Mother
20. King Arthur the Red
21. Doughnut for a Snowman

All this proves is that I chose the wrong songs.

In fact I would strongly argue that there isn't any single choice or arrangement of 21 songs that would be a sufficient substitute for the 75 sequenced songs (61 LP tracks + 14 B-sides) GBV have released since January.

How could anyone who seriously gives a damn about this band and value what makes their contribution to music undeniably inventive and thrilling think that this would be a plausible solution? If Bob Pollard had only released one Guided By Voices album of 21 songs this year, then we would be only hearing 28% of his output intended for GBV.
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1 Comment 12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't think it was possible. Honestly. I was an all time GBV fan, obsessed fan, really. I embraced every album, 12", 7" from "Forever Since Breakfast" up 'till things got a bit less interesting, less appealing. When Robert Pollard plunged into the Fading Captain Series full gear with the Moping Swans, the Takeovers, Circus Devils etc. and finished a truly mediocre album like "Fiction Man" I started to lose interest. "From A Compound Eye" and "Normal Happiness" were decent with still a few gems but then I stopped trying to follow Pollard in his deluge of solo albums and side projects.

And yes it is possible! This third GBV album of 2012 is almost, almost on a par with the '94-'96 era of "Bee Thousand" etc. It's amazing Pollard and Sprout still sound like the same band from 20 years ago, no worn out vocal deliveries or whatsoever. 'She Lives in An Airport' is my favourite, and now one of my favourite Pollard tracks EVER! 'White Flag', 'King Arthur the Red', 'The Challenge is Much More' and 'Up Instead of Running' are epic songs and give me the same thrill as those 90s albums of GBV gave me. Tobin Sprout delivers nice sweet tunes, 'Waving at Airplanes' is catchy as hell.

I'll take the other two 2012 GBV albums for another spin but they were IMO really less moving. Too bad Pollard is still a guy who is unable or unwilling to edit himself on the level he did with GBV in the 90s (remember, the 20 songs of "Bee Thousand" were selected from at least 100 songs!). And so "The Bears for Lunch" also contains real throwaways like 'Tree Fly Jet'. If only these kind of duds on the GBV 2012 output had been erased and these 3 albums had been compressed to the real killer stuff, well..., we really had ourselves a classic like "Alien Lanes"!

Final question.
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